Posts Tagged Lisa Lampanelli

Thank G-d For Lisa Lampanelli! (Explanation to Follow!)

Lest my title sound a tad dramatic, let me explain! In a day when the NY Post, ( Monday March 26th, 2012, p. 5) runs a story about political correctness running wild in our city schools, which have banned mentioning references to seemingly harmless words like “wealth” “dinosaurs”, “birthdays”, and even “Halloween”, on city-issued tests, you have to be grateful that there’s someone like Lisa Lampanelli who has the courage to challenge this type of B.S.

Lisa Lampanelli entertaining the folks at Gotham Comedy Club!

You can’t even mention “swimming pools” or “computers” because kids who can’t afford those things might feel bad. Did they ever think that it might also encourage them to work hard so that someday that CAN afford those things?

They refer to it as “economic sensitivities.” This kind of so-called “correctness” sounded like a joke when they first started, and can be great fodder for comedians, but it affects our lives greatly. And NOT in a positive way!

Soon everyone will be absolutely silent. No one will be able to speak at all for fear of offending someone in some way, or possibly bringing some uncomfortable thought to mind! As long as you don’t dare offend criminals or terrorists. That is a high priority, because most criminals and terrorists are very sensitive people, and could be easily hurt by the wrong word or phrase!

One of the beautiful things about comedy is that it has the power to bring people together. People laughing at themselves first, allows them to be able to laugh at each other. It’s all in good fun. Lisa has made even the “C” word acceptable, and I’ve heard her use it to refer to her own mother, … while her mother was present! Lisa not only talks the talk she walks the walk!

Lisa Lampanelli with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV after her killer performance at Gotham Comedy Club!

Political correctness is killing us. It divides us and makes us hyper-sensitive to almost anything people say. There’s a great saying I once read somewhere, (and I wish I remembered where! LOL) that states, “Your ego always wants you to be offended. It actually demands that you’re offended. And when you live your life that way, you’re at the mercy of every stranger that crosses your path!”

You give every person the power over you to make you feel insulted or uncomfortable. That’s too much power to give away. People can tell when something is meant as a joke or comes from hate. All you have to do is see Lisa to know that she comes from a good place. She makes fun of herself as much as she makes fun of anyone else. So when she calls an Asian guy “Ching-Ping”, or every Spanish guy “Hector”, or makes fun of the gays, who she raises money for constantly, and who love her, the audience howls with laughter because she does it with love. She comes from a good place.

We need more like her, not necessarily that everyone has to use the “C” word, but she makes people laugh at themselves and not take things so seriously. No one of us chose our race, or ethnicity, any more than we chose our genetics. It was given to us. You get what you get, and that’s it! With so much hatred in the world, we need to break down the barriers, not create more of them.

Go to any of Russell Peters’ shows and see how multi-cultural his audience is. I call him “The Messiah of Comedy” because he makes every ethnic group laugh at each other and he does it by imitating them perfectly.

When did it become an insult, or racist to imitate an accent? Accents are real. People have them. We hear them. Do we have to make believe that we don’t? Therefore, talented people who can imitate them do. I wish I could. I talk about accents in my act. Especially the Chinese accent, which to me has to be one of the most unusual and non-sexy accents in the world.

You will never hear a woman say, ” When he speaks to me in that Chinese accent, I can’t control myself!” You could live to be a thousand, and you will NEVER hear that!

Anyway, when I heard that Lisa would be making a guest appearance at Gotham Comedy Club in a fundraiser for a Manhattan school P.S. 11, I knew I had to show up. P.S. 11, also known as The William T. Harris School, is a public elementary school located in the heart of Chelsea at 320 West 21st Street, known for it’s diversity. They should probably come to Lisa to make up the test questions! (LOL)

Barry Weintraub was the MC which was a great choice since Barry is one of the best. Wali Collins killed it especially when he went into how Black people name their children. He himself once dated a girl named La-ah, which he was shocked to find out she pronounced Ladasha!

Wali Collins onstage for the benefit for P.S. 11 in Chelsea!

Aside from making appearances all over the country, Lisa is also currently being seen on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, where she always tells it like it is, no matter who gets in her face. She claims to have gained 2o pounds on the show, and said she’s a five o’clock shadow away from looking like Chaz Bono! Although I can tell you that Lisa looks more elegant than ever, and I know her a long time! Success does wonders for people!

She kids her husband Jimmy Cannizzaro a lot, but he has a great sense of humor and takes it like a man! She said she flew in for this gig, but couldn’t sit next to Jimmy cause she flies first class! Everyone should fly with Jimmy. You’d definitely feel safe! The man is his own private plane! (LOL)

Lisa is loved on the show as was evidenced by the fact that sitting with her and her husband Jimmy, were Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa.

Vanessa trump, Don Trump Jr., Lisa Lampanelli and her husband Jimmy!

If there was a magazine called “Perfect Gorgeous Couples” they would be on the cover. The two of them absolutely shine, in a very humble unassuming way. I was so glad to see them cause I hadn’t seen them in a while. I first met them when they were engaged, and Vanessa told me they just had their third child 5 months ago. You’d never know it to look at her. Don looked trim and tan, which I guess works well since he’s on TV every week as one of the advisors and boardroom judges on Celebrity Apprentice along with his Dad, and sister Ivanka. Brother Eric also takes part from time to time as a task advisor or boardroom judge.

Vanessa Trump, Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, and Don Trump Jr. at Gotham Comedy Club!

Don also writes a very detailed Blog post on what went on on Celebrity Apprentice called ” In The Boardroom” on the NBC.com website. I’ve been telling him for years he should get into comedy, when I wanted to write his material for the Friars Roast of his Dad, back in 2004, which preceded the Comedy Central Roast. So when I saw him with Lisa I said, ” You see, I told you you’d eventually be involved in the comedy world, … in one way or another!” And we all had a big laugh!

I had met Don Jr. and Vanessa originally when they were Ambassadors for Operation Smile, a fantastic charity that brings plastic surgery for cleft palates and cleft lips to poor children all over the world. Don has been on the Board since 2007. I was a guest at an event they were at, we struck up an acquaintance, and have stayed in touch. I’m happy to say that he reads Comedy Matters and I’m planning to do a video interview with him and Vanessa sometime in the near future.

Comics like to follow a comic who does well, but not too well! How anyone can follow Lisa Lampanelli onstage is a miracle, because Lisa destroyed the audience, but Mike Vecchione managed to do it. He is just so funny and really one of my favorites. I often have to follow him onstage at The Comic Strip, and I say to him, ” Did you have to be THAT funny? Was it really necessary to be THAT funny? How am I supposed to follow that???”

Mike Vecchione making people laugh as usual at Gotham Comedy Club!

Mike, who says he looks like a nasty Staten Island, racial-profiling kind of cop, ( and he does) talks about his inability to work as an undercover cop. ” Well, if I LOOK like a cop, then chances are I won’t be that effective as an undercover cop.” On being tased : A taser is a weird weapon. Kind of like a mixture of a weapon and an energy drink. When you first get tased, you think you’re gonna get a lot done today, but then it hurts a lot!( Sorry Mike for the para-phrasing! LOL)

Mike’s soft low-key delivery, combined with his fantastic writing is what really makes him special. He will definitely be very big in the business!

In line with Lisa’s type of material he asked the Asian people in the crowd, “Who do you like better, Jeremy Lin, or General Tso? Both are number 17!” That is hysterical! I think it’s funny that his own people can’t say his name. They call him Jelemy Rin!

Most comics try to end on a strong joke. Every time I thought Mike was ready to end, he topped that strong joke with an even stronger joke. He’s really such a great performer, and the nicest guy!

It was an AMAZING show, which raised a lot of money for the school. I had hoped to shoot a little video with Lisa afterwards, but she had to run, so we will definitely do that soon. Jimmy said he’ll be in it too! She also has a one woman show coming up that we have to talk about as well! ( Lisa, Tweet the shit out of this Blog post! LOLOLOL )

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Lisa Lampanelli Postpones Her First Anniversary Celebration With Husband’s Blessing

You know that saying, ” Behind every successful woman is a great man?” Don’t blame yourself if you never heard of it, I just made it up, but in Lisa Lampanelli’s case it’s true.

Lisa Lampanelli is a dear friend of mine, and one of the few to be in my “Dancing With Comedians” series of photos. A couple of the others were Phil Hartman and Gilbert Gottfried. Mostly men for some reason! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV dancing with Lisa Lampanelli as part of his rare “Dancing With Comedians” series!

Lisa’s husband, Jimmy Cannizzaro, or Jimmy Big Balls as Lisa affectionately calls him, has a security company, Canno Security, and is Lisa’s road manager. You HAVE to feel secure around Jimmy. He’s a huge, imposing individual, who is the quintessential “gentle giant”! The only people who wouldn’t feel secure around Jimmy are the kind of people who would try to ruin your evening. Those people would feel very INSECURE around Jimmy. To say he could be intimidating would be a gross understatement. He looks like he could take a bite out of a desk! I once saw him throw a guy out of a club with his eye! Just picked him up with his eye and tossed him out! (LOL)

Lisa Lampanelli and her husband Jimmy “Big Balls” Cannizzaro at the after-party for the Donald Trump Roast!

I see Jimmy a lot at Gotham Comedy Club, where he makes sure that everyone stays in line. He told me that even though their actual one year anniversary is this coming weekend, Oct. 2nd, he and Lisa were going to celebrate tonight. He even had tickets for a Broadway show, but she suddenly got a call from Whitney Cummings yesterday, to fly out to LA to do a guest spot on her new NBC sit-com the very next day, and he told her to go ahead, because they could always celebrate when she got back, but guest spots on hot shows don’t come along that often! That’s the kind of partner a show business person needs. Someone understanding.

No one should ever have to make the choice between taking an important gig or insulting your significant other! It’s not fair. In show biz you have to be where they need you to be when they need you, or else you miss out! Too many showbiz people wind up with partners who don’t understand that.

I’m a big fan of Whitney Cummings. I hadn’t really been aware of her until I started seeing her on the Roasts, and I was very impressed. First by her appearance, because there are very few such attractive women performing comedy. I was not surprised to find out she had been a model! They make fun of her relentlessly at the Roasts and she takes it in good stride because she’s obviously comfortable with her appearance! She also has a gorgeous smile, and I say that both personally and professionally, as I used to be a Cosmetic Dentist! I know great teeth when I see them!

Plus I’m a good judge of beauty, as Lisa Lampanelli referred to in the video interview I did with her recently when she made her singing debut at The Friars Club in NYC. She was preparing for her upcoming Broadway show tentatively titled “Bring Back The Fat Chick”, in which she’ll talk about her lief and her life-long battle with food and her weight!

She said that over the years she always sees me with hot, gorgeous women, and like many other people to whom I have not felt the need to explain, she wanted to know how I was able to get so many extraordinary women.

With Lisa it was different. I explained to her that I feel sorry for beautiful women because most men are intimidated by them and are afraid to ask them out. For that reason, many beautiful women are lonely. That makes me sad! That’s why when I see a beautiful woman, I go out of my way to be friendly and pay attention to them! And the more beautiful they are, the nicer I am to them! I feel it’s the least I can do! (LOL) Someone has to date them, … it may as well be ME!!! She agreed!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club in NYC!

Whitney Cummings is that rare breed of beauty who can also be very funny, and let it all hang out, like Chelsea Handler, and not worry about losing their femininity! The first time I ever met Chelsea Handler was at Carolines and she was doing BJ jokes with her father in the audience. That took balls! And I knew right then and there that she was destined for stardom. Not just because of her choice of material, but because of her stage presence, and the confidence it took to do that kind of material and not be shook by the fact that her father was there!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the beautiful and funny Chelsea Handler at Carolines Comedy Club back in 2005!

Needless to say, I was right, and Chelsea is at the top with her own show, Chelsea Lately, for quite a while now!

Jimmy told me that Lisa liked the interview I did with her so much that she showed it to Whitney, and Whitney loved it! Maybe now I’ll get to do a similar one with Whitney! How cool would that be? ( Rhetorical question, not requiring an answer! LOL )

Whitney has her own show “Whitney” on NBC, Thursdays at 9:30, and is Exec. Producer of “2 Broke Girls” on CBS. She’s definitely working it, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in the nurse’s uniform she’s wearing in the pilot! When I ran into her in Montreal, she was dressed exactly like her co-star Chris D’Elia described her. He said for the last 5 years that he knows her, every single day all she wears is a hoodie. Check out the photo below!

Whitney Cummings flashing her beautiful smile in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal!

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Charlie Sheen Roast With Amy Schumer, Anthony Jeselnik, Patrice Oneal, Jeffrey Ross and more!

Everyone loves a Roast, and everyone, especially in the comedy community, was anxiously awaiting the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen! The jokes could basically write themselves. There was so much to use for inspiration. I wrote for the famed Friars Roasts for many years, but I have to say the level of humor then was nowhere near as cruel as it is today! There’s nothing left to say that is considered shocking anymore! It’s all been done, so now people say the most horrible things they can think of, and it passes for humor because no one has the balls to tell them it isn’t funny!

I won’t say which jokes I think that applies to! I’ll leave that up to you!

This Roast was produced by my old friend Jeffrey Ross who I know for a long time. Jeffrey’s become known as the Roastmaster General, which is very similar to being the Postmaster General. The Postmaster General is in charge of delivering the mail, and the Roastmaster General is in charge of delivering the funny! I wonder how much Jeffrey had to do with who the Roasters were.

Comedy Central V.P. JoAnn Grigioni, Jeffrey Gurian, and Jeffrey Ross at the after-party for the Donald Trump Roast!

He himself commented, ” Look at this dais. This lineup is so pathetic, I was hoping I’D get replaced by Ashton Kutcher!”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Jeffrey Ross, somewhere cool back in 2004!

Ross about Sheen – Charlie Sheen is to stand-up what Larry Flynt is to standing up! ( Brilliant! )

He went on to say, ” Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez would have been here tonight, but they had a family obligation”!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Jeffrey Ross at the Friars Club book party for Gurian’s book, ” Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive!”

Those are the kind of jokes I love. Clever, and funny but not cruel!

And then he asked Charlie about his kids, ” Don’t you wanna live to see their first 12 steps???” ( Hilarious! )

Greg Giraldo was missed, but was mentioned when Ross said about Anthony Jeselnik, ” Some say you’re the next Greg Giraldo. Let’s hope so!”

Also missed were Lisa Lampanelli who had another committment, and Gilbert Gottfried, who was committed!

Seth McFarlane is a great Roastmaster. He’s really found a niche for himself cause it’s a hard thing to do. I don’t know how much he writes himself, but his lines are sharp and he delivers them like he wrote them!

Seth McFarlane on TV when he hosted the Roast of Donald Trump!

I like his simple lines like ” Anthony Jeselnik’s act combines the excitement of standing there with the thrill of saying words!” That’s hysterical!

He followed it up by saying, ” You know him best by me saying his name right now! “

Anthony Jeselnik chillin’ at The Comic Strip after his set!

Seth on Mike Tyson – He’s beaten every opponent he’s gone up against so far, except the letter “S”!

Amy Schumer showed how she got on the dais with her clever lines:

Amy to Tyson – Mike Tython. Am I saying that right? You have a slutty lower back tattoo on your face! Men don’t know whether to be scared of it, or finish on it! ( To his credit Tyson laughed at everything that was said about him! )

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Amy Schumer at Gotham Comedy Club!

Amy to Sheen – You are really so famous. It was international news when you ruined the lives of those two girls that were living with you, … your daughters! ( Very edgy! I think family members used to be considered out of bounds when we wrote the Friars Roasts!) I remember one joke I wrote that got side-lined about an honoree who was so neat he let other guys f**k his wife so he wouldn’t have to get his c**k all messy!

Jeffrey Gurian with a very dressy Amy Schumer, including what look like pearls, at Gotham Comedy Club!

Amy mentioned Patrice Oneal’s bout with Diabetes and said this was also a farewell party for Patrice’s foot, and told a joke where his grandmother was the brunt of the joke. It almost looked like Patrice winced at that one, which is hard to do!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with his pal Patrice Oneal when Patrice was Jeffrey’s guest speaker at an event to create comedy workshops for inner city kids!

I was his co-host for a while on his Sirius Radio show The Black Phillip Show along with Dante Nero,who labeled me a “Level 12 Pimp”, a title I held proudly! (LOL) Patrice said he chose me not only because we got a long so well, and made for interesting partners, but because I was the only white man he ever met who knew all the words to AMG’s “Bitch Betta Have My Money!”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Patrice Oneal at the Friars Club book party for Jeffrey’s book “FIlthy, Funny,and Totally Offensive.”

Check out some clips from the show here where Patrice is talking about me, and the beautiful girl I had with me, Jacqueline Beaulieu:

So again, there’s not many things that Patrice wouldn’t say, and I don’t know if I could even think of one, but I really think he winced at the grandmother joke!

But Amy took some unfair heat when referencing Ryan Dunn from Jackass who was killed in an auto accident, and was friends with Steve-O who was on the dais. She said, ” Sorry for the loss of your friend Ryan Dunn. You were thinking “it could have been me”, and we were all thinking, ” Why wasn’t it you?” Which doesn’t seem so harsh in light of the other things that were said, and remembering that it IS a Roast!

Seth McFarlane made jokes about Amy Winehouse, when writing Charlie Sheen’s make believe obituary, and no one said anything about that?

When Steve-O jumped face first into Mike Tyson’s fist and broke his nose, Seth said, ” That’s what it looks like when an asshole gets fisted!” No one’s that quick, so I guess that part was planned!

Anthony Jeselnik has such an unusual delivery. I can’t exactly explain what it is, but it’s great. It gives him the ability to say things you would never expect him to say. They said he’s dating Amy Schumer. I can see that happening! I think it works comedically as well as socially!

Anthony to Sheen – “The only reason you got on TV in the first place is because G-d hates Michael J. Fox!”

Patrice Oneal is like a philosopher. He does best when he has time to develop his premises of which he has many! He did great on the Roast when he told Seth McFarlane that he needs a partner to bring down his ego, like Hanna-Barbera had, like when Hanna thought he was bigger than Yogi and Barbera had to slap the shit out of him!

He also advised Seth to just come out and admit that he’s gay! He said ” No straight guy writes that many show tunes!”

You have to have a thick skin to be a Roaster or a Roastee! Everyone present gets what’s coming to them, … whether they deserve it or not!!!

Check out the previous post on Jeffrey Ross producing the Roast at:

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Lisa Lampanelli Videos of Her Singing Debut At The Friars Club

I’ve been a Friar for many years. So when my good friend Lisa Lampanelli informed me that she would be making her singing debut at the club I was, … needless to say, very excited. ( It may have been needless to say, but I said it anyway! )

Jeffrey Gurian of #ComedyMattersTV with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club in NY!C

So I was able to get exclusive inside footage with Lisa where we discussed everything from her upcoming Broadway show, tentatively titled “Bring Back The Fat Chick”, to people feeling left out, how she got started as an insult comic, hecklers, cruelty, why I’m not the same as most other Black comics, and all kinds of interesting things.

Lisa Lampanelli on stage at The Friars Club looking rightfully proud of her great performance!

Get to see Lisa how she really is. The video is in two parts cause it’s really too good for just one!

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Please watch and leave a comment, and send it around to your peeps! And make sure to check out the previous post with all the Lisa Lampanelli photos at this link right here!

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Lisa Lampanelli Makes Her Singing Debut At The Friars Club In NYC

In a departure from the kind of performance she’s known for and that brought her great fame, Lisa Lampanelli is changing her tune, … literally! In preparation for a one woman show on Broadway, that she is writing with famed comedy writer Alan Zweibel, ( the very same Alan Zweibel that gave me my start in the biz! ) Lisa has been practicing her singing.

Jeffrey Gurian with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club just before her singing debut!

Jeffrey Gurian with Alan Zweibel at the Friars Roast of Jerry Lewis back in 2006!

The show should be ready in the Fall of 2012, and has the working title of “Bring Back The Fat Chick”, which is a reference to a great story as to how she got started doing insult comedy. She did a set at a show and the set went great. The next comic didn’t do so well and some guy in the audience yelled out, “Bring back the fat chick”, probably thinking in his mindless stupidity that he was offering up a compliment!

All Lisa heard was “fat chick” and it got her so annoyed she went home and wrote ” 15 pages of jokes insults and retorts to hecklers!” After that she became an insult comic. She says she’s grateful to that guy to this day, but hopes he’s dead anyway! (LOL) Lisa Lampanelli can say ANYTHING and get away with it. Very few people have that gift! It’s cause she has a beautiful heart and comes from a good place and people can tell the difference!

At a Friars event in her honor that I attended, along with her parents, she referred to her Mom as the “C” word, and her Dad as “an old deaf bastard!” To their credit, both of her parents were hysterical laughing.

Lisa Lampanelli flanked by her parents at an event at The Friars Club in her honor!

So for her singing debut, she did two songs at the legendary Friars Club on what they call “Diva Night.” In an evening produced by Randie Levine-Miller, Lisa joined the ranks of Broadway songstresses, and belted out two funny numbers that go along perfectly with who she is.

Producer Randie Levine-Miller getting ready to introduce Lisa Lampanelli as part of Diva Night at The Friars Club!

They were parodies written by her friend and opening act Mike Morse, who probably has no idea that he’s supposed to be gay! (LOL) Boy will he be shocked! In her early days, Lisa only used gay comics as her opening acts, so unless she changed her ways entirely, he will have to become gay! He also appeared in a little funny sketch she did as a Jimmy Olsen-style old time reporter, who introduced himself as “Brown from the Sun.” I absolutely love silly jokes like that! And he shares a desk with a guy named Al Bumin!

Lisa Lampanelli rehearsing for Jeffrey Gurian in the grand lobby of the famed Friars Club of NYC!

The first song parody was about her addiction to food, because Lisa is very honest about everything, but especially about her struggle with food and her weight. It was written to the tune of ” I’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say No” from Oklahoma.

Lisa Lampanelli singing her little heart out at The Friars Club in NYC!

The second one was a parody called ” I Don’t Wanna Insult No More”, to the tune “Show Off” from The Drowsey Chaperone! They were both perfect vehicles for her, and she did great! I didn’t know what to expect, but I had the confidence in Lisa to know that if she was going to do something she was going to give it her all, and do it well.

I was honored that she asked me to come and tape her performance, and do an in depth video interview, which you will all be seeing very shortly! Contrary to what some unenlightened people might think, Lisa is about inclusion. The theme of her show will be her lifelong struggles with weight control,and I have to say she looks fantastic. I’ve known her for years, and she’s lost a ton of weight and developed a glamorous appearance. Fame, money and self-esteem will do that for you!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV and his good pal Lisa Lampanelli AFTER her singing debut, and their video interview at The Friars Club!

Lisa’s husband Jimmy Cannizzaro is a great guy, who I see very often helping control the crowds at Gotham Comedy Club. Trust me, no one would mess with this guy. He’s basically a building with clothing! He looks like he could take a bite out of a desk! But he’s one of those guys they describe as “a gentle giant”! You can tell he has a heart of gold. He was telling me about their wedding which took place at The Friars Club last October of 2010.

Lisa Lampanelli and her husband Jimmy Cannizzaro, otherwise affectionately known as Jimmy Big Balls by his loving wife Lisa!

They deserve a lot of Happiness, and I’m proud to say they’re friends of mine, and supporters of Comedy Matters! Video coming soon!!!

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Lisa Lampanelli at Paul Provenza's Green Room Premiere

Everybody loves Paul Provenza, … especially comedians. That’s why Showtime picked up his show The Green Room for a second season. It debuted on Thursday, July 14th, at 11 P.M. while I was still out in LA, performing at Jamie Masada’s Laugh Factory with Kevin Nealon, and Budd Friedman’s Improv on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, plus interviewing both Billy Crystal and Russell Peters. I sure hope I didn’t miss any Green Room premiere party, ’cause I hate when that happens! ( I actually went to a party once and had a good time! LOL)

Check out all the cool comedy names on Paul Provenza's Green Room poster!

Jeffrey Gurian with Paul Provenza in the lobby of The Core Club, for The Green Room.

( I often wonder if I didn’t write the “LOL” if people would know I was kidding! I was born at a party and have been going to them ever since!)

Anyway, Paul made the iconic movie The Aristocrats. He directed the well over 100 comics who performed in that movie, which Penn Jillette produced, and I actually went with Paul when it debuted at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal where Paul and I will be going again next week. The Just for Laughs Festival is the biggest comedy festival in the world. I heard that Andy Nulman who ran it so well for many years, and then went on to direct the huge celeb galas, is back running it again this year! Hey Andy, … see you next week!

Jeffrey Gurian being kissed by Paul Provenza while Jamie Kilstein leans on Jeffrey Gurian, and looks on longingly!

Paul is producing The Green Room with producer Barbara Romen and I remember being there with them when they first introduced it in Montreal, where almost everything big in comedy happens. Barbara honored me by saying she feels like I’m one of The Green Room family, since I’ve been there from the beginning. ( you will see this in the attached video, in case you think I’m exaggerating! LOL )

Jeffrey Gurian holding Paul Provenza's book Satiristas, while Paul is holding Jeffrey's book, "Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive" for which he wrote the foreward!

Paul recently wrote the book Satiristas, in which he also brought in a huge number of big comedy stars to be interviewed. There’s something special about Paul that allows him to get all these huge names to participate in his projects, because they’re not just sitting around waiting for people to ask them to be part of something, which they graciously do for Paul, very often for no compensation. They have to actually like you more than just a little to do that, and with Paul they like him a lot. That’s why when he says the same thing about ME, and gives me props for getting so many big stars to be in my column, it’s very meaningful to me. Someday I hope Paul and I can do a project together.

We first met many years ago on a radio show that Jackie Mason was hosting, when I believe Jackie was filling in for Bob Grant. We were both guests, and Paul and I got along famously. Then one night during a performance of a show he was starring in called “Only Kidding”, he accidentally chipped his front tooth on stage, and some comedian friends suggested he call me! When he asked what good it would do to call a comedy writer, to have his tooth fixed, they explained about my other career as a Cosmetic Dentist. I fixed him up right way and he was back on stage that night. We’ve been friends ever since!

Sylvia Ogonaga, Paul Provenza and Jeffrey Gurian at The Core Club for Paul's debut of The Green Room!

So when I heard that Paul was debuting Season 2 at the prestigious Core Club, ( right across the street from the famous Friars Club) in Manhattan, I actually postponed my departure for LA for one day so I could attend. I brought Ecuadorian model/actress Sylvia Ogonaga with me, … mostly because I could! (LOL) With him that night besides co-producer Barbara Romen was Robin Bronk of The Creative Coalition which was the sponsor of the event, and comics Lisa Lampanelli, Rain Pryor, ( Richard’s daughter), Billy Connolly, and Jamie Kilstein.

(L-R) Robin Bronk, Lisa Lampanelli, Paul Provenza, Rain Pryor, Billy Connolly, and Jamie Kilstein

Lisa Lampanelli came in looking so great. She’s a shadow of her former self, and I guess that’s what success and a happy marriage does for you. I see her husband Jimmy BB ( AKA Jimmy Big Balls), a lot at Gotham Comedy Club, where he makes sure nobody gets out of line. Nobody sane would mess with Jimmy. He’s basically a building with clothing! ( I heard he’s going co-op, but that might just be a rumour! )

Jeffrey Gurian interviewing the amazing Lisa Lampanelli at the debut of The Green Room at The Core Club!

Lisa is always a delight to interview as you’ll see in the video below. It’s a nice feeling when you know someone before they made it big and then watch them enjoy the fruits of their labor and still stay grounded like Lisa. She’s one of the most popular acts around, but still acts nice to people! It doesn’t always go down that way!

It was exciting for me to meet Rain Pryor, Richard’s daughter who came with her brother Richard Jr. who I hadn’t seen in a long time. I actually sponsored Richard Jr. into The Friars Club and took a photo of him standing under a portrait of his Dad, which hangs in one of the spectacular meeting rooms of The Friars Club. Rain was one of the participants in the panel that Paul was leading in a Q&A after the screening.

Surrounded by Pryors! Richard Pryor Jr., Jeffrey Gurian, and Rain Pryor at The Core Club for The Green Room!

The first episode featured such notables as Judd Apatow, who basically owns Hollywood, and is a difficult “get”, Gary Shandling who will be receiving a lifetime achievement award in Montreal this year, Greg Proops, Kathy Griffin, Marc Maron, and Dana Gould, all led in conversation by Paul. It’s totally unscripted, and very loose, and you never know what will happen when you bring minds like that together. Paul makes them all comfortable enough for them to just let it roll, and it’s funny, and entertaining, and it works!

Screen shot of Kathy Griffin and Dana Gould from an episode of The Green Room!

Other stars who’ve appeared are Janeane Garofalo, Lewis Black, Ray Romano, Rick Overton, Joe Rogan, Margaret Cho, John Corbett, Dave Attell, Franklyn Ajaye, Rick Shapiro, Doug Stanhope (and Bingo), Jim Jefferies, Kelly Carlin, Glenn Wool, Matt Kirshen, Kumail Nanjiani, Eddie Ifft, Randy Credico, Kathleen Madigan, and Tommy Chong.

Paul will be shooting at least two episodes of The Green Room in Montreal next week, and he’s threatening to let me be part of one! If I’m not careful I’m liable to be successful, so I better watch out!!!

And YOU better watch this cool, fun video of the premiere of Season 2 of The Green Room held at The Core Club in Manhattan, thanks to their Director of Business Development and Cultural Curator, Pablo DeRitis, who made sure that everyone was comfortable and had a good time !

P.S. Yesterday was Lisa Lampanelli’s birthday, so send her a birthday Tweet at @lisalampanelli, and tell her it’s from both of us! Okay, okay, … here’s the video already!

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Look Who Reads Comedy Matters-Richard Lewis, Jon Stewart, Lisa Lampanelli & So Many More!!!

I’ve been doing so many red carpets lately and am thrilled to see how many big stars read “Comedy Matters.”  if you don’t believe me, watch for yourself, ( and then tell everyone you know!  Even if they’re sleeping.  Wake them up and tell them! Even if they’re very tired.  Trust me, they’ll be grateful!)

Lisa Lampanelli with Jeffrey at The Donald Trump Roast after telling Jeffrey she reads Comedy Matters every time she forgets to delete it! (LOLOLOL)

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Lisa Lampanelli Comedy Central Special "Tough Love" Coming Sunday March 27

If you’re a fan of Lisa Lampanelli, and truth be told, who isn’t, … ( rhetorical question – means it answers itself, … schmuck!) then you’re in for a treat. This Sunday night, Lisa will be in all her glory with a one hour Comedy Central special called “Tough Love.”

Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump

I have it from Lisa herself that this special, … if you can believe it, … will be EVEN EDGIER than her last few specials. This from a woman who when honored with a luncheon by The Friars Club, called her mother the “C” word, and referred to her Dad as something like “that old deaf f*&k”. And not only were her parents there, but they laughed harder than anyone else!

Lisa Lampanelli flanked by her proud parents who are still laughing, at her Friars Club luncheon, 2_27_07

And that’s cause everyone can tell that Lisa comes from a place of love. She’s not a mean spirited person, and has no hatred in her heart for anyone. On stage watch out. But in person, ( and I don’t want to spoil her image, … but) she’s a sweetheart!

She told me that she and her husband, affectionately known as Jimmy “Big Balls”, … ( only Italian guys get good nick-names like that. Jewish guys NEVER get good nick-names. Whaddaya gonna call him, Sol “Thrifty” Schwartz? What’s the worst he can do? Give you the wrong change? )… so Lisa and Jimmy BB, just happened to catch one of her old specials on TV the other night, and she said she was “shocked at how much more Comedy Central is letting her get away with this time. I think there were only 6 bleeps in the whole thing”, she said. ” “They really let me push the limits!”

Lisa and husband Jimmy celebrating her killer performance at the Donald Trump Roast!

Lisa, and comics like Russell Peters, who is also a good friend of mine, fall into the category of what I refer to as “The Messiahs of Comedy.” I put them together although they are actually very different. But what they have in common is they bring Healing to the world and bring everyone together by making all ethnic groups see the humor in themselves as well as in other groups. All stereo-types have some basis in truth, and Lisa just points that out.

As a treat for my readers, I have permission from Lisa to give you a little taste of what to expect. Some inside info, so to speak! Now if I give HER some inside info back, do I run the risk of being arrested for insider trading! (Do they let you wear scarves in prison???)

Lisa Lampanelli and Year Round Scarf-Wearing Jeffrey Gurian at Carolines!

Lisa as you know is Queen of the Roasts. As a matter of fact, several years ago before Lisa’s career blew up, she and I were actually going to start a Roast business, creating Roasts for the corporate world. I had been writing for The Friars Roasts for many years, and we thought it would be a great idea. She was The Queen of the Roasts, I was gonna be The King, and she had an opening act at the time that was going to be The Prince!

As I recall, he was Gay and was arguing with her over who should be The Queen!

We had several meetings at The Friars Club, and got as far as making up fliers for our company, but before we had a chance to do our first gig, her career took off, and that was as far as it got!

Anyway, Lisa is incorporating her love and affinity for doing Roasts into her special by doing what she calls , her first annual ” Roast of Worthless Americans,” where she will have a podium wheeled out and she’ll do “a good ol’ fashioned roast of everyone from the Situation to Kate Gosselin to Jennifer Aniston.”

Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian, in the Green Room, when Lisa was the Roast Master for the Friars Roast of Pat Cooper-2007

Lisa’s quote was, “Since I am so fond of doing the roasts, I wanted to do a roast of people who took themselves too seriously to sit in the hot seat like Donald Trump and David Hasselhoff did. It’s a first for me and a total blast.” She really respected both Donald and David for taking the heat and subjecting themselves to what can be a brutal experience if you’re not mentally set for it.

Before Donald Trump was roasted by The Friars Club, he happened to ask me, ” Do you think I can take it?” My answer was, ” If anyone can it’s YOU Donald.”

Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey in the street after her interview for the book he's writing on the history of The Comic Strip.

Lisa also gave me a great interview on her early days in comedy, and her experiences at The Comic Strip for the book I am doing on the 35 year history of that legendary club. I will give you a taste of that interview in upcoming blog postings.

In the meantime just let me say that I know Lisa for a long time, and I’m so happy for her and all of her success as she deserves every bit of it. No one knows how hard you have to work to make it in this business, and she’s literally worked her butt off, ( by at least 80 pounds!)

Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian dancing, from his rare "Dancing With Comedians" series!

So, to wrap up, once again, the special is called “Tough Love” and airs this Sunday, March 27th, at 10 p.m. EST on Comedy Central. You can also go to http://www.ComedyCentral.com for additional airings.

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Gilbert Gottfried Tsunami With AFLAC

Last night I was at a show produced by Scott Kluge for the Birthright Israel Foundation, a wonderful educational program that sends young Jewish adults on all expense paid trips to Israel, to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world, and to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry.

It was a star-studded show with two of the funniest Jews I know, Gilbert Gottfried who was the host, and Dave Attell who performed along with an all star Broadway cast.  Associate Producer was my good pal comedian Ray Ellin and the hilarious Dan Naturman was a writer on the show.

(L-R) Ray Ellin, Scott Kluge, and Dan Naturman backstage at The Hudson Theatre.

Gilbert read the story of Purim putting in his own hilarious facts like Nebuchadnezzar not being able to get online, and change his status on his Facebook page.  In between he would introduce the next act, and then go back to his readings.  It looked like he was reading from The Torah.

Gilbert, in his best red shirt, looking like he was reading out of The Torah, onstage at The Hudson Theatre.

Dave Attell came out looking like a Russian peddler from the early 20th century, which is a look he pulls off well.  He was his usual hysterical self, and had lots of Jewish humor.  I wasn’t taking notes as I usually do but I believe when talking about brisket he said, ” I don’t think any kind of meat should be wetter than the front row of seats at a Justin Bieber concert.”

Dave Attell looking like he was auditioning for a part in Fiddler On The Roof

And then it got raunchier and the audience loved it!

In the all-star Broadway cast was Mitchell Jarvis, Nick Adams from the brand new Priscilla Queen of the Desert, (which I almost wrote as “Queen of the Dessert”, … which could be about Lisa Lampanelli before she lost all the weight!); Curtis Holbrook from West Side Story, Kelli Barrett from Baby It’s You, Garrett Long from South Pacific, Rachel Potter from The Addams Family, and my good friend, the beautiful and talented J.Elaine Marcos, also from the show opening next Sunday, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

J.Elaine as she started out her number fully dressed!

J.Elaine came out on stage and did a number that was so sexy and adorable.  She sang in an accent, and danced around while taking off her clothes to the delight of the audience.  First her sweater, then her blouse, and just as she reached behind her to unclasp her bra, … the lights went out!

J.Elaine beginning to disrobe on stage during her number!

J. Elaine just about to undo the clasp of her pretty pink bra!

J. Elaine and I had met years before in a comedy class and she has always been very funny. Sexy and funny is a difficult mix but she manages to pull it off.  She’s also been in in Chorus Line,(which I saw and she was fantastic), The Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity, and Flower Drum Song, among others.

J.Elaine Marcos and Jeffrey Gurian both completely dressed backstage after the show!

She was as shocked to see me backstage as I was to see her onstage!

J. Elaine handling "the big pen" with great dexterity and ease!

Anyway,  I’m sitting enjoying the show when all of a sudden I get a text from my fabulous PR team Goldman-McCormick asking me if I could do a radio spot at 10:07 about Gilbert Gottfried being let go as the voice of the AFLAC duck, for what they felt were insensitive Tweets made regarding the devastation in Japan.

I was like,” I’m here with him now.”  Basically that can’t even happen!  What are the odds that someone would want to talk to you about someone you were with at the moment?

When the show ended I went backstage to see Gilbert, which I would have done anyway,because he has always been my favorite comedian, and he knows that.

I’ve been telling him that for years.  He was with his wife Dara, and I had just seen them last week at the taping of the Donald Trump Roast airing tonight at 10:30 on Comedy Central, btw!

I asked him if he wanted to come on the radio with me, but he told me that I could speak about it for him.  I could tell he felt badly about what happened.  Gilbert doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.  He might not offer to buy you a drink, but he would never purposely hurt anyone.

People who love Gilbert know what he does.  Not only does he push the envelope, he tears it to shreds.  Look at his performance in The Aristocrats. When Gilbert goes off the deep end, nobody can go any deeper.

Comedians see the world in a different way than most people.  That’s what allows them to see the humor that other people overlook.

Unless you’re there to see if for yourself, no one can possibly grasp the horror of a cataclysmic event like the one that happened in Japan.  You can’t really wrap your mind around it.  It’s too big.

Plus, people don’t have the capacity to feel other people’s pain.  It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time.  We would probably be incapacitated, and catatonic if we felt what other people were feeling.

It might also make for a kinder world, if people knew how their words affected others.  Children can be very cruel as we all remember from our early days in school.  They think it’s fun to single out one person and make their life utterly miserable.  I know I did it too, and I cringe today when I think about it.

Comics are very often extremely socially awkward and not well versed in social graces. They’re the first to admit that they were the guys, ( and girls!), who didn’t exactly fit in in high school.  Many were self-described nerds.  They used comedy to survive, and so their personalities only exist on stage.  Off stage they’re often very quiet, and even very shy, which is hard to believe when you see how animated and funny they are on stage.

They learn to say anything to get a laugh and often at other people’s expense. Shock value is getting harder to find because it’s all been said and done already.

Anyway, as of the time of the writing of this entry, I’ve already done two big radio shows about this today with two more scheduled.  I did the Bob Dutko Show on WMUZ coming out of Detroit, which is a Christian Radio station, and that was lots of fun.

The Bob Dutko Show WMUZ out of Detroit! Really fun show to do!!!

Until I told the producer Jan Foxx, that her last name was like a porn star! (LOL) When I realized that I had just said that to someone on Christian radio I felt very badly, and corrected myself.  I said Foxx with 2 “X’s” is like a rock star, like Nikki Sixx.  Foxxx with 3 “X’s” would be like a porn star!  She said I was very funny!  Thank G-d! (LOL)

The Big 810 show with Ed Tyll out of Orlando, Florida. Ed's a great host!

Then I did The Big 810 out of Orlando, Florida with Ed Tyll, on WEUS, and we spoke for quite a while on the mindset of comics and how they think.  Also, AFLAC has a tremendous business in Japan and for that reason alone could not take a chance and alienate anyone, despite the fact of how much they like Gilbert.

Gilbert has been open about his apologies and has posted them on Twitter, like the ones below.

“I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”6 hours ago · reply

“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan.”6 hours ago · reply

So all in all it was a busy day, and I’m learning to like this blogging thing. People have been telling me for years that I should be blogging, but I didn’t get the significance of it till last week!  Now I can’t stop.  It’s addicting!!!

Let me know your thoughts on the Gilbert/AFLAC Tsunami thing.  Curious to hear your take on it.

 

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Preview Video On The Red Carpet of Tonight's Comedy Central Donald Trump Roast

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters was on the red carpet at the taping of Comedy Central’s Roast of Donald Trump, taping the arrivals and speaking with Roasters Jeffrey Ross, Lisa Lampanelli, Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, Snoop Dogg, Marlee Matlin,and guests like comic/TV host Amy Schumer, Actor Ice-T and his wife Coco, Russell Simmons, and even MTV President Doug Herzog.  And Gilbert Gottfried was the surprise guest! This is a follow-up to an earlier story posted last week.

Watch the Roast and leave a comment below letting me know what you thought of it, who was the best Roaster, and what jokes you liked best and I’ll feature my favorite comments on the blog! Thanks!!!

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